Potter DIY: Cross-Stitch Your Own House Crest and Patch
Ever wanted to make your own House patch? I sure did. As someone who has always admired cross-stitch but never made a traditional one before, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was. Here are the steps I used to make a pattern for my Gryffindor cross-stitch, stitch the dang thing, and then turn it into a patch.
What You’ll Need:
- Aida cloth (cross-stitch fabric)
- 4-5 colors of embroidery floss to match your House
- An embroidery needle
- An embroidery hoop
- A sewing machine that can zig-zag and white thread (optional, for the patch)
- Fusible interfacing (optional, for the patch)
Step 1: The first step to making your House crest is designing the pattern. There are several ways you can do this, and I’ve included cross-stitch patterns of each House in this post if you’d rather just use one of them, but I’m going to walk you through how I made mine. First I found a simple rendering of the crest – try searching for “Pixel Art (your House here) Crest” or “Simple (your House here) Crest.” Unless you’re looking to do a very detailed rendering, the simplest design will work the best here. Once you find one you like, save it to your computer and upload it to an image-to-pattern site. Here‘s the one I used. Feel free to play around with the settings to find something you like that fits your supplies. To make the patterns below, the settings I used were:
Width (Number of Stitches): 70
Number of Colors: 5
Palette: All Colors
Count Aida: 14 (note that this needs to match the count on your Aida fabric)
Once you’ve chosen your settings, make sure the box next to “show grid” is selected, then go ahead and click “Create Embroidery Pattern.” Keep in mind that if you increase the width without decreasing your Aida count, you will end up with a larger final product. If you know which thread palette you have access to, make sure you select that as well. I just picked colors that looked similar rather than using the exact shades recommended.
Step 2: Now that you have your pattern, it’s time to get stitching. Choose which color you’d like to start with and cut a length of 12-18 inches of embroidery floss. Separate two of the six thread strands from this section and thread them through your needle. Tie a knot in one end, and leave a tail on the other. Starting on the edge of your design (I started with the square around the G in Gryffindor) poke your needle up through the back of your fabric. Make a diagonal stitch to the next hole and pull it tight. Counting the stitches in your design, make a line of diagonal stitches, then work backward doing the opposite diagonal to form a row of X’s. When you get to the end of your thread or you’re switching colors, flip your hoop over and slide the needle underneath several other stitches, then snip the thread.
I like to fill in my design one color at a time. So, counting the stitches as I went, I filled in the outline of each red area with diagonal stitches, then filled in the center and completed the Xs for each section. Next, I did the yellow border, then the black lion, and finally the white nameplate and black letters.
You can see that I added some straight stitches around the border of the nameplate in yellow thread since I wanted it to stand out a little bit more. Also, if you compare my final product to the original pattern, you’ll see I didn’t copy it exactly – there were a couple of places where I either had to account for a mistake or I just wanted to smooth out the pattern a little.
Step 3: Once your cross-stitch is finished, you can either finish the edges traditionally or do what I did and turn it into a patch. Loosen your hoop and remove it from the fabric. I gave mine a nice iron and steam to flatten it out again, then roughly cut the shape out of both my Aida cloth (leaving about 1/2 an inch of seam allowance) and my fusible interfacing. I then used my iron to fuse the interfacing to the back of my cross-stitch. Once it’s securely attached with no wrinkles. I then trimmed the edges more carefully, leaving just over a 1/4 of an inch at the edges. To finish the patch, I stitched the edges using white thread and the zig-zag setting on my sewing machine. I set the stitch length to 0.2 and the stitch width to 5.
There you have it – your very own House patch. I’m not sure what I’ll attach mine to yet, though I do have a cloak project in the works that might look pretty smashing with a Gryffindor patch as a final touch. Now that I know how easy it is (and how great an excuse cross-stitching is for watching TV,) I may just have to make one for every House. Let us know if you make one, and tag us in your pic!